Does Joe Biden’s Pick As The Next U.S. Trade Chief Need To Be A China Hand?
Trade Policy Partner Francisco Sanchez was quoted in a South China Morning Post article discussing who President-elect Joe Biden will pick as the next U.S. trade chief and whether the appointee will need to be a China hand. Some veteran diplomats urge Joe Biden to replace U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer with someone well versed in China policy. However, others downplay the importance of direct experience, pointing to the agency’s expertise and wider awareness in Washington of the China challenge. Mr. Sanchez worked with Biden as undersecretary for trade in Obama’s Department of Commerce and said that, over the course of his career as vice-president and senator, Biden always prioritized technical skills.
“He does place a high value on expertise, so I think he will appoint people who bring a fair amount of experience, whether it has to do with China, whether it has to do with [the European Union],” Mr. Sanchez said. “This is something that’s very important to him.”